One of the joys of being multi-disciplinary is that you will see things in one field that are very close to if not identical to things in another field. The closer these things are, the more I wonder if a) anybody else sees the overlap and if b) seeing the overlap, others have chosen to explore possibilities.
Case in point; NextStage is finishing up a year long study of how LeadGen and DemandGen can be improved. LeadGen (LEAD GENeration) provides qualified prospects to inside sales reps. DemandGen (DEMAND GENeration) is the inside sales part of this two step process.
LeadGen people are usually market researchers who go through on and offline company data to determine if a company is in the market for some product or service and who in that company is the decision maker. When you get a call and the person starts out with “I’m doing a study of xyz and have about a minute or two of questions…”, you’re talking to a LeadGen person. The ruses some LeadGen groups will use to get information from company personnel is amazing.
DemandGen then takes the information gathered by LeadGen and attempts to set up meetings between a prospect company’s decision makers and the sales staff of whatever company hired them to do inside sales. Smaller companies combine these two steps and if you’ve ever seen “Glengarry Glen Ross” you have a fair idea of what this can be like.
NextStage came up with some trainings based on our observations and increased productivity by as much as 500% in some of the firms we studied. Here are some quick take-aways for people either working in LeadGen/DemandGen or looking to hire such a firm.
Research the Industry
One of the easiest ways for LeadGen/DemandGen to increase success is to spend a few hours or even a day researching the industry they’re calling into. To me, this was a no-brainer and I was amazed at how seldom it was done. Spend a day studying then spend half an hour each morning checking industry news for the sector you’re calling.
Are you calling into transportation companies? Then learn a little about interstate transportation laws, the latest in transportation technologies, read some blogs by long-distance truckers, …
Are you calling to learn who’s in the market for database upgrades? Then find out what Oracle is doing, who they purchased, what consolidations are going on and how that will affect things in the database sector. Do newer database technologies require newer hardware architectures? Are companies planning for this dual upgrade? How?
Do you want to know who’s going with blade and virtualization? Find out who the major providers are and what they’ve been doing and how companies are responding.
Again, this seems like Sales 101 to me and we repeatedly learned it wasn’t being done.
Learn what SEO/SEM are doing
This is a real example of one field overlapping with another. SEO/SEM companies should partner with LeadGen/DemandGen and vice versa even though it may not seem an obvious thing to do.
Think of it this way; LeadGen/DemandGen need to know who’s interested in what in order to get their job done. SEO/SEM specializes in a very obvious and highly analyzed system of studying who’s interested in what. LeadGen/DemandGen firms may be using SEO/SEM firms to raise their own profile and they should be using them to learn what people are searching for when it comes to knowing how to position their pitches.
Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.